for progressive businesses
My goal here is to help progressive, future-oriented businesses shape, define their places and strategies in, and succeed in a healthy and sustainable human future.
It’s to help progressive businesses succeed in a successful human future—and to help them shape that future.
We’ll draw on my experiences and skills (please see the my background page), your own, and those of your organization's leaders and experts—as your goals and situation require.
In order for a business to make its way forward positively, responsibly, and successfully these days, it must define itself, and develop strategies and approaches, such that they reflect human needs, values and desires, nature's principles and limits (i.e., science), and the marketplace. In other words, a business must understand people, nature, and the current and potential marketplace. It must form its strategy and pathway forward in light of a combination of all three of these highly interrelated factors. Merely getting one or two of them right won't do it—at least not for long. Whole thinking, and creative thinking, are the orders of the day.
Whole, creative, and anticipatory thinking—that's even better.
Many people, however, tend to have highly specialized backgrounds and experiences, and understandably so. Also, many businesses tend to be functionally fragmented or find it difficult to see the larger whole picture and navigate successfully into the future, which is changing fast but offers important clues. Also, these days, many business leaders find it hard to even find time to think about these things! Identity, strategy, and tactics become mere responses and reactions to whatever happened yesterday or looks likely to happen on Monday.
Fragmented, conventional, and reactive responding are not the same as whole, creative, and anticipatory thinking and action. Nor are they likely to be as successful and sustainable. Nor are they as fun or fulfilling.
There is also another related and important way to paint the picture: A necessary aim these days involves the resolution and alignment of three interrelated aims: the progression towards human sustainability; the achievement of an organization's own (corporate) sustainability; and the effective serving of human needs, values, desires and ideals.
Ask yourself these three questions: "Is my business contributing to human sustainability or at least moving meaningfully in that direction? Is my business a successful and sustainable business or at least on a good track to becoming so? And, is my business attracting and serving customers—humans—in ways that help meet their needs and healthy desires and that help them fulfill their own healthy ideals and sense of what it means to be a responsible and effective human?"
Businesses these days should aim for genuine "yes" answers to all three of these questions. And of course, that requires some genuine degree of alignment among the ways in which a business satisfies these considerations—or else an impressive amount of luck! In contrast, a "no" answer to any of these questions is a sign of problems and (to see the glass as half full) of important opportunities.
If you have a progressive business, or are interested in making your business more progressive, my efforts and background can help you move forward in positive ways. Anyhow, that's the sincere aim.
I have a background and perspectives that consider, encompass, and navigate among the several scopes mentioned earlier—i.e., that help me think holistically and multifunctionally. I've been a consultant with McKinsey & Company, a cross-functional executive at Disney, and a marketer in the toy industry, and I graduated as a Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School. And (or but) I also have a strong scientific background, as a chemical engineer from U.C. Berkeley, with a deep appreciation for science and for nature's principles and dynamics. And (or but) I also have a deep appreciation for human psychology, values, "philosophy", and related matters. Most of my work at McKinsey, in the toy industry, and at Disney involved understanding people—"consumers" and markets. I've also done considerable work aimed at understanding various aspects of human psychology, values, philosophy, and related matters much more deeply. And in recent years, I've spent a great deal of time trying to better understand some major dilemmas that face us all, including those related to sustainability, climate change, the news media, and others. So, I can help you and your business achieve greater degrees of whole, creative, anticipatory thinking—with the future in mind.
(There are probably no silver bullets, of course, but half of success is showing up. And, helpful insights and ideas can go a long way.)
Work can be limited to discussions with you or also include external research and analysis. I can facilitate and contribute to internal sessions (e.g., strategy sessions, creative sessions, messaging and marketing sessions) or focus largely on external research, analysis, and corresponding recommendations for your consideration. I can work with you alone or with members of your team. I can provide an independent outside perspective.
Some Representative Areas:
- Understanding sustainability, related considerations and values, and their implications
- Understanding sustainability markets and their values, conditions, and drivers. Understanding the present and future values, needs, and drivers of relevant markets
- Assessing, facing, and shaping the future. Understanding the present and future, in relevant ways, as much as possible
- Choosing to enter and help shape the future—responsibly, strategically, and wisely
- Positive progressive differentiation
- Strategy development, product conceptualizing, and messaging
- Creativity, and creating for the future
- The economics of sustainability, and sustainable economics
- Developing and maintaining (pursuing) sustainability strategies
- Having, offering, and delivering meaning
- Grounded and genuine business ethics
- The point (as in, "What's the point?")
- Consulting and counseling with individual executives/leaders
- Actually getting from here to there